Friday, February 7, 2014

A New Year

Well hello 2014!  And goodbye January?  How is it almost Valentine’s Day already?  It may be a tad late for a New Year’s Resolutions post, but being punctual has never been my strong-suit.  Since it is my first post of the year, it only seems fitting.

I made several resolutions this year, along with revelations about the blog.

I am who I am, and what I am not is somebody else.

Totally deep, isn’t it?  Yeah, I know, not really.

When I began a blog, I had images in my head of what it would be like – amazing photos of cakes dripping with chocolate,  cookies stacked with a glass of milk standing by,  cheese oozing from every entrée (hey, I am a Wisconsin girl after all).  I would tackle complicated recipes and show the world how absolutely awesome I am.  There are thousands of food blogs that make it look so easy…why couldn’t I do it too?

Bottom line – I’m not them.  I am me. 

Look for more of ME in 2014 – the blog is turning into more of a journal - from recipes, to reviews, to life tips, to parenting, to my favorite things, to stuff I just feel like I have to share.  There is more to life than what is cooking in the delicious dairyland.

Here are my resolutions for the blog:

Regular posting.
This should be easy to accomplish by steering slightly away from a recipe-driven blog.  Let’s be honest, it will probably still be mostly recipes, but at least I get some wiggle room to liven things up if it wasn’t the best month in the kitchen.  Shall we set a goal?  How about at least twice a month?  Sounds easy enough.  Goal set.

Take better photos.
Presently, the way I photograph food is by snapping a shot of it before it enters my mouth.  I live in a real world where the hubby and toddler are hungry, and so am I…so I don’t take the time to shoot food photos the way I really would like to.  And frankly, I just don’t know how to get “that look” in my photos.  I plan to do a little research and figure out how I can incorporate better photos into an everyday fast-paced life.  Maybe I can enlist the help of my photographer extraordinaire sister-in-law to give me some pointers.  Check her out at

Additional resolutions include:

Lose 20 pounds.
I lost 40 pounds last year, but was totally a cookie monster this holiday season and put on a few pounds.  Time to kick start the healthy lifestyle again.  I started P90X3 on January 5th and am already down by nine pounds, so I’m on my way!

Cleaning schedule.
It is no fun to clean the house on a weekend.  Maybe it is okay in winter when you can’t be outside as much as you’d like to, but once summer rolls around, I want to be out experiencing the few minutes of nice weather we get!  By setting up a schedule of 15-20 minute tasks to do each weeknight, our weekends would be free of the cleaning burden.

Cookie decorating.
I want to learn how to make those perfectly decorated sugar cookies I see everywhere.  Basically, I want to learn how to use royal icing.  I may enlist the help of a friend at A Fancy Cookie ( to be my Obi Wan Kenobi.

Make meals fun for my toddler.
Right now my toddler’s meals consist of things I throw together while we’re heading out the door – usually leftovers from the night before, an English muffin, a banana, some string cheese, etc.  I want to get her to eat more vegetables and a better variety of food, so I plan to create bento box meals for her, incorporating shapes, colors, textures, etc.

New recipes.
Each month, I plan to try at least one brand new recipe, whether it be from a cookbook, a blog, Pinterest, whatever.  You can count on those recipes/experiences being shown on delicious dairyland, so stay tuned.

Meatless Mondays.
This was a failed 2013 resolution, but it is tough to be on a fat-shredder diet that is high in protein and cut meat out as a protein source when soy isn’t an option for your family.  Fingers crossed for 2014 that I can incorporate one meatless day per week.  It may have to wait until after I have finished P90X3, but I’ll get there.

2013 Resolutions Accomplished:

Lose weight.
I know, it is the resolution we all make, but not all succeed in.  My journey started in 2012, six months after my daughter was born, when I started the exercise program Power 90.  My diet was on-point and I pushed myself in the workouts, losing 20 pounds.  In 2013, I did P90X and totally brought it!  I lost another 20 lbs.  I’m not done yet, but definitely getting close to my goal!  2014 is my year.

Plan meals.
In past years, we would end up going to the store multiple times a week because we didn’t have this or that for a meal we wanted to make that night.  So in 2013, I resolved to plan a week’s worth of dinners before going grocery shopping on the weekend.  It was an awesome time saver and it was just nice not to have to worry about the “What’s for dinner?” question every day.

Join a CSA.
Done.  It was absolutely amazing to receive 20 weeks of fresh, organic, local produce.  It also made meal planning easy, because we received our CSA box on Thursdays and did our other grocery shopping on Saturdays.  We knew what we had on hand and made fantastic meals from some of the freshest produce we have ever had.  We plan on joining a CSA again in 2014. 

Use the slow cooker.
This is one of my best accomplishments of 2013 and I can't believe I actually stuck to it.  I made a resolution to make one meal in slow cooker each week…and I did.  That’s right folks, I used my slow cooker more than 52 times last year!  I really need to put a post together about some of my favorite recipes, because I definitely have some go-tos and tips I can share.  Nine out of 10 of my favorite recipes are probably from the America’s Test Kitchen Slow Cooker Revolution cookbook – arguably my new favorite piece of reading material.  It was a gift for Christmas in 2012, and boy did I put to use!

Well, that's about it from me now.  The munchkin is waking up from a nap, so ta-ta for now.

I hope you resolved to be awesome in 2014!

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